Burning of Prospero
|This article contains spoilers! You have been warned.|
|The Battle of Prospero|
|Status||Pyrrhic Space Wolf victory|
|Imperial Censure Host||Thousand Sons|
|Commanders and Leaders|
|The Primarch Leman Russ, Constantine Valdor, Jenetia Krole||The Primarch Magnus the Red, Ahriman|
|~73,200 Space Wolves, 5000 Sons of Horus, 982 Custodians, 3000 Sisters of Silence, over 54,000 human infantry from various regiments, 12 Battle Titans, 5 Psi-Titans, over 2000 Mechanicum Secutarii and Tech Adept staff.||~62,200 Thousand Sons, the Prosperine Guard (~85,000 soldiers), Zhao-Arkhad Taghmata (~8000 warriors & automata), 12 Battle Titans, millions of citizen reservists|
|49,000 total. 23,000 Space Wolves KIA and 23,000 Imperial Army KIA. Severe Custodes and Sisters of Silence casualties||Very heavy. 90% of the Thousand Sons KIA. 30 million Prosperine Spireguard and civilians wiped out|
|Razing of Prospero, withdrawal of the Thousand Sons to Sortiarius and the sundering of Magnus the Red.|
"If you treat with the Warp, Magnus, I shall visit destruction upon you. And your Legion's name will be struck from the Imperial records for all time."
"I have already contacted my brother Russ and illuminated him with the full breadth of Magnus's treacherous use of daemonic spells and conjurations. He was… suitably angry, and I believe I have convinced him that to return Magnus to Terra would be a waste of time and effort."
- – Horus, demonstrating once again the terrifying power granted by his charisma
The Burning of Prospero was the entirely avoidable full scale invasion and destruction of Prospero, homeworld of the Thousand Sons, by the Space Wolves. Also involved were the Custodes, Sisters of Silence, Titans, Mechanicum, Imperial Army and, for some reason, 5000 Sons of Horus. This battle was pretty significant in that this was the first time that an Astartes Legion fought another Legion (well maybe not the first time). It was also one of the first battles of the Horus Heresy.
How Did This Happen?
The Burning of Prospero had its roots in the Council of Nikaea where the Emperor personally declared that Librarians and psychic powers were so last millennium and banned the Legions from using them. In a way, the Council was also the trial of Magnus the Red, Primarch of the Thousand Sons, for he was accused of sorcery and dabbling with the warp when he had sworn not to. There was also a deep distrust of psykers which did make things a bit biased. Anyway the debate of the Council results in Librarians and the use of psychic powers to be banned in the Legions. This caused a problem for the Thousand Sons who made extensive use of psychic powers in their conquests. So they did the most logical thing, ignore the ruling and continue messing around with the Warp. Nothing could go wrong.
Things go wrong
During his meditations, Magnus saw a vision where Horus turned against the Emperor and cause a giant civil war. Failing to stop Horus from turning traitor due to interference from this piece of shit, Magnus decided to use sorcery to call the Emperor and warn him; by doing this he could personally deliver the news to Big E and also prove just how essential psychic powers were (and validate the use of sorcery). Unfortunately this fucked things up tremendously, as Magnus's phone call breached through psychic barriers of the Webway and allowed friendly little critters to enter the Imperial Palace and start causing mischief. So not only had Magnus wrecked the Emperor's Webway Project but he had also broken the Edict of Nikaea which pissed the Emperor off to no end; he banished Magnus from sight and ignored his warnings about Horus.
Back on Prospero, Magnus realized that he had been manipulated by a giant demon cuttlefish and saw how he had not only screwed over himself but the Imperium as well. He decided to stop fucking things up and just waited passively for the retribution that was sure to come instead of doing any number of things, like trying to talk to the guy who was sent to get him, who actually did try communicating with Magnus to find out what happened. He also refused to try and talk to the Custodians with him and actively prevented any of his Sons from doing so as well. He also decided to hide any knowledge of the incoming Imperial Forces from the Thousand Sons so they wouldn't fight back and ruin their chance for redemption (the worst fucking idea in the world as it had the opposite effect). He also covered Prospero under a psychic shield that blocked astropathic communications and prevented the Legion Corvidae Sect from foreseeing the attack. Finally, he sent the Thousand Sons Fleet away from Prospero on some hidden mission.
Magnus wasn't wrong about incoming punishment as the Emperor decided that Magnus had broken the law and ordered Leman Russ, Primarch of the Space Wolves, to go arrest his brother and bring him back so the Emperor could spank his red ass. Unfortunately Horus, who had indeed turned traitor, intercepted the orders and changed the "arrest" to "kill" Magnus and the Thousand Sons, convincing Leman that trying to arrest Mr Strawberry would be a waste of time. Leman, who was never a fan of Magnus and his sorcery, agreed at the time.
To accompany the Space Wolves, the Emperor sent along Custodes, Sisters of Silence, some Imperial Army Regiments, 5 Psi Titans and a couple Mechanicum Taghmata. Horus also sent 5000 Sons of Horus and 12 Titans of the Legio Mortis. Constantin Valdor also came along, just to make sure everything went as planned.
The Imperial Fleet reached Prospero, which was still unaware of the incoming attack. Before beginning the attack, Russ tried to contact Magnus several times to request he send away the civilians and surrender peacefully, as the order to kill him didn't sit right with him in hindsight and independently he decided it would be a better idea to arrest his brother and figure out what happened. Magnus refused to answer his calls (again for no fucking reason) and thanks to Magnus' efforts, nobody else was able to communicate either, so after trying for a while and getting really pissed off, Leman ordered the attack to begin.
The Attack Commences
Prospero had no fleet defending it, only the orbital defense batteries as protection. These batteries lasted mere moments against the Imperial Fleet. Once the last of the batteries were destroyed, the Imperials commenced an orbital bombardment on Prospero with magma bombs and mass drivers. The planet got fucked up so badly that moments after the bombardment started, Tizca, capital of Prospero, was the only population center left standing and only because a group of sorcerers belong to the Raptora Sect managed to cast a psychic shield over the city. The Space Wolves kept bombarding the shield in an effort to overload it which gave the Thousand Sons commanders time to figure out what the fuck was going on. With Magnus being emo, Chief Librarian Ahzek Ahriman took command and decided that if the Thousand Sons were going down then they were going to go down fighting.
With the bombardment proving ineffective against the psychic shield, Russ led his Legion down onto the planet, deploying in assault boats of such numbers that the people of Tizca mistook the incoming wave for a large dust cloud. In their arrogance, the Thousand Sons hadn't bothered to put any anti-air defenses in Tizca so the Space Wolves had little problem deploying. The Prospero Spireguard and Tizcan Militia managed to finally respond and set up defensive positions. The Palatine Guard set up at the edge of the Space Wolves's deployment zone where their commander, Katon Aphea, positioned them with his tactical brilliance, ready to meet the invaders.
The Battle continues
By now the Thousand Sons had gotten their shit together and began counterattacking. With the help of their psychic powers, the Sons caught the Space Wolves off guard and inflicted heavy losses. Ahriman and the Scarab Occult even wiped out a large group of the furries. This happened across the city and soon the first defensive line was formed. Furthermore, Magister Khalophis of the Pyrae Sect went Pacific Rim and took control of the dormant Titan Canis Vertex and began raping the Space Wolves with large psychic fireballs. It looked like the line was holding. But then things took a turn for the worse.
The Custodes arrived and started flexing on the Thousand Sons with their bling. To make matters worse, the Sisters of Silence made their presence known. Due to being blanks, the Sisters had a devastating effect on the psychic Thousand Sons. While the Sons were able to eventually negate the Sisters' effect, Leman Russ had arrived and began teaching the Thousand Sons the way of rip and tear in person. Against a Primarch, the Sons stood no chance and skedaddled the fuck outta there. Then things got even worse for the Thousand Sons.
The infamous Flesh Change that had once threatened the Legion prior to the reunification with Magnus, decided to come back in force. Several Thousand Sons lost control of their powers and turned into Chaos Spa- I mean... gribbly things. One Legionnaire's demise caused a pretty huge explosion which caught the Canis Vertex, causing it to overload and kill Khalophis with the feedback as well as toppling over and crushing a Pyramid. Understandably, the fact that several legionaries were turning into mutant creatures before their very eyes gave the Imperials hard evidence that the Thousand Sons had gone too deep with their sorcery and were truly damned. With their line in disarray, the Thousand Sons retreated to the Pyramid of Photep, Magnus's crib, and prepared to make a final stand.
By now there were only 1,500 Thousand Sons Astartes left (before the retconned number anyway) and Leman Russ was closing in with a force that vastly outnumbered the Thousand Sons. In the ensuing battle, the Space Wolves deployed the Wulfen, horrifying the Thousand Sons that the Wolves would deploy such abominations (though the Thousand Sons were hardly in a position to accuse anyone of having abominations). With the Wolves tearing through the their lines, things were looking grim for the Thousand Sons. But then Magnus finally couldn't take the suffering of his Legion any longer and got off his ass.
Magnus descended from his pyramid and began giving the fucking furries a piece of his mind, literally. His psychic powers caused havoc on the Imperials. He even killed tons of Space Wolves with a staring contest. He also took a minute to slow time and give Ahriman his book and some final instructions. Afterwards, he and Leman began some quality bonding time between brothers.
The duel between Magnus and Leman was brutal. They fought each other alone, surrounded by onlookers shouting "Worldstar!" and recording the fight with their pict capturers. Russ broke Magnus's horn nipples, Magnus set Leman's hair on fire and both bitchslapped each other. At one point, Magnus even rammed his arm into Leman's chest and stabbed one of his hearts, but then Russ broke said arm. At the climax of the duel, Russ blindly lashed out and struck Magnus's only weakness: his eye. Blinded, Magnus was helpless as the wolf king picked him up and smashed him down over his knee, breaking his back with such force that those watching reacted like so . However, before Leman could finish him off Magnus decided to ragequit and teleported himself, the Thousand Sons and Tizca to Sortiarius, aka the Planet of the Sorcerers. The Imperials had won.
Once they had finished wiping out the remaining Prosperine citizens, the Space Wolves enacted an Exterminatus on Prospero and left it a dead world. In his act of teleporting himself and his Legion away, Magnus shattered his physical form and became the first Daemon Primarch. The Thousand Sons felt they had been betrayed by the Emperor and thus joined Horus's merry gang of traitors. They would also bear a massive hate boner for the Space Wolves because Magnus didn't feel like telling them it was all his fault and they were all too stupid to figure it out. Afterwards the flesh change increased and started ravaging the Legion again, but Ahriman managed to cure it with his Rubik's Cube which turned most of the Legion to dust. Understandably annoyed, Magnus exiled Ahriman for his act of stupidity.
In conclusion, local Primarch ruins everything.